At heart, I consider myself a naturalist. For instance, when I choose foods to eat, I tend to opt for those that are minimally processed and have no additives, artificial preservatives, artificial ingredients and chemicals. And when possible, I will buy organic. This also holds true for personal care products, such as make-up and skin care. In the last year or so, I’ve made a significant effort to avoid buying products that have fillers, preservatives and parabens. Unlike food products, however, there really aren’t any industry standards around labeling products as organic or all-natural in the personal care market. So, for the most part, you have to do your research.
In my quest for keeping personal care products as natural as possible, I’ve discovered certain brands and product companies that I like and as a result, stick with. A few include: Cosmedix, Burt’s Bees and Kiss My Face. Cosmedix is great for skin care, Burt’s Bees is great for moisturizing my hands and body and Kiss My Face has been the shower products ‘go to brand’ for the last few months.
In researching products, I read the list of ingredients and if I find anything that I don’t know, are animal based, are artificial scents or colors, or are parabens, I take a pass. Parabens, in particular, I avoid, as they tend to be very drying and irritating to my skin. When I first found Kiss My Face, I was attracted to their slogan ‘Obsessively Organic’. I bought their shampoo and conditioner products and was pleased to see that their products contain ‘no sls or parabens,’ as stated on the bottles. They also smell great and don’t over-dry my hair. A couple of months later, I discovered that Kiss My Face also made Body Wash. Without thinking twice, I grabbed a bottle and was glad to have found another product by a company I trusted.
Yesterday, however, as I was loading up my loofah with the Body Wash, I noticed the slogan didn’t say ‘Obsessively Organic’, but rather ‘Obsessively Natural’. My interest piqued, I looked at the ingredient list and to my dismay, noticed, as big as life, ‘Methylparaben and Propylparaben’ listed. Not more than two inches below this, was the following statement ‘This product contains no animal ingredients, no PARABENS or artificial colors and was not tested on animals.’ Huh? Ummm…not sure I quite understand this one: As clear as day, they list two parabens in the list of ingredients and then outright contradict themselves by saying the product doesn’t contain parabens! Wow. Call me crazy, but that sounds like really bad editing.
I’m not a chemical or bio-chemical engineer, but this sounds pretty misleading to me. Yes, methylparaben can be found naturally in blueberries and propylparaben can be found naturally in plants and insects, but when they are used in products, more often than not, they are synthetically derived. Regardless, the label blatantly states the product doesn’t contain ‘parabens,’ yet, it does – regardless of where they came from.
So what is my point? Read your labels. Product companies are very quick to make claims that don’t really hold true. Be careful and read the fine print.
Have you had any disappointing label discoveries?